Volunteer for a day with giant pandas on a private tour at the Dujiangyan Giant Panda Center. Help record panda behavior, clean enclosures and prepare food with a professional animal keeper as you get up close to China’s beloved black and white bears. Your volunteer service and program fee help ensure the survival of this vital species and contribute to the important work of the non-profit research facility — one of three bases that are part of the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda (CCRCGP). Let your guide know if you'd like to take a photo with one of these beautiful animals (additional fees apply). Lunch and round-trip hotel transport by private vehicle from Chengdu are included.
China’s most symbolic animal is now an endangered species numbering just 2,000. Since 2011, the Dujiangyan Giant Panda Center, part of the China Conservation and Research Center for the Giant Panda (CCRCGP), has made a home for injured and elderly bears, treated with utmost care in specialized facilities on a secluded, 126-acre (51-hectare) reserve of bamboo and parkland at the foot of a sacred mountain. Departing from your hotel after morning pickup, drive by private vehicle for approximately 1.5 hours to the non-profit rescue and research center. Receive a commemorative t-shirt, then switch vehicles and ride an excursion bus up to the top of the site, where you can observe resident pandas going about their daily lives.Meet the panda keepers who work to create a natural environment for China’s most beloved animals, and receive a short training session. You can participate in two panda feedings — one in the morning and one in the afternoon — washing and carrying fresh bamboo, and preparing food like fruit, carrots and panda cakes. These nutritional treats are made with shredded bamboo mixed by hand with rice and egg to create a large, solid cake.After your first volunteer session, enjoy your own lunch, provided for you at the center’s cafeteria.Spend about an hour visiting the panda gardens before you resume your volunteer work. Your guide provides a complete overview of panda development so you can understand the bears’ progression from infancy to adulthood. Stop at the sub-adult garden, where the adolescent pandas between the ages of one and five years old hang out. Then observe full-grown giant pandas in the adult area, where the bears can be seen eating bamboo, sleeping and frolicking about. In the afternoon, you’ll help clean the pandas’ indoor and outdoor enclosures, and may perhaps learn to record panda behavior or even assist with weighing the pandas (depending on the caretaker's schedule). After the pandas’ second feeding, take a break from your volunteer duties to walk around the panda center at leisure. You are free to use the computers and watch panda videos at the volunteer service center if you’d like.Please note: The center limits direct contact with the animals to ensure their well-being. The duties of your volunteer service may be changed due to the needs on any given day, and are not guaranteed.After a full day helping out with these impressive animals, you’ll receive a volunteer certificate and the satisfaction of contributing to a great cause. At the end of your tour, you’re transferred back to your hotel in Chengdu by private vehicle.